Local families enjoy Supper with Santa
CHILDREN affiliated with Compassion in Action (CIA) have been treated to Supper with Santa at our headquarters on Leigh Road.
Forty young people enjoyed a fun and festive meal, and then visited Santa and his elves to receive individual gifts.
The evening’s activities took place in an enchanting ‘pop-up grotto’ which has been constructed in our function room by staff and volunteers.
Guests of honour included Bill and Barbara Patrick, whose sons David and John are responsible for providing CIA’s community village of inclusion in Leigh.
“It is an absolute joy to be able to invite local families to our best grotto yet and give the children of Leigh the opportunity to meet Santa!” said Pam Gilligan, Chief Executive Officer of CIA.
“We offer our heartfelt thanks to our amazing community, who have donated toys in supermarkets across Leigh. Their belief and generosity are beyond words – helping us to help others. In times of austerity, year on year we unite to make events like this possible, and to ensure that our most vulnerable families receive food and gift hampers on Christmas Eve.”
More than 300 hampers will be packed and distributed by staff and volunteers to families who have been referred to our charity by local agencies. Each one contains a turkey dinner, fresh vegetables and all the trimmings; three age-appropriate gifts for every child; and a present for each adult.
Councillor Sue Greensmith, who attended the Supper with Santa with her husband Alan, said: “Without these hampers, some families in our community would not have a Christmas. I have seen parents open the door with tears of relief in their eyes. People are proud, but this is not charity; it is compassion and community in action.”
This year, the turkeys have been funded by a bag-packing initiative undertaken by CIA’s Community Cadets.
“We are so grateful to our cadets, who also helped to facilitate our Supper with Santa. They are the ‘little helpers’ who make Leigh proud!” said Pam.
“I would especially like to express my deepest thanks to Wigan Council, Regency Glass, Leigh Centurions, Nationwide Building Society and many more wonderful organisations who have responded to this year’s appeal with overwhelming generosity, as well as taking time out to help us wrap all the presents. Thanks to their efforts, many more families in Leigh will be able to join in the joy of Christmas.”
A full list of appeal supporters can be found on our website.